The Impact of Daily Creel Limits on Sport Fish Harvest in Georgia

Completed-trip information was analyzed from 6 access-type creel census surveys in Georgia to evaluate the impact of statewide creel limits on restricting sport fish harvest. Interview data from 3 river surveys (1988) and 3 reservoir surveys (1 in 1985 and 2 in 1988) were analyzed to determine what percent of anglers caught the daily limit for largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), crappie (Pomoxis spp.), and sunfish, and to determine what percent of anglers would be affected by various daily creel limits for these species and for catfish (lctalurus spp.), which currently have no creel limit. Results indicatedthat current Georgia daily creel limits do not significantly reduce sport fish harvest, as harvests of < 1% of anglers approached the creel limits for the 3 groups of fish studied. Access-type creel surveys can be of great value in monitoringor predicting the impact of altered creel limits of anglers as well as on fish populations.

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